Last week we posted a number of stories on women in fintech and they were widely read and reposted, telling us that this whole topic is of keen interest. Then there was the recent story about the new statue on Wall Street of the little girl facing down the bull.
Fact is in fintech, there are tons of women in entrepreneurial and leadership roles. What we don’t know, though, is how many are behind the scenes in the engineering functions at fintechs. And statistically that bears out, whereby girls typically lose interest in science and math around age 15, according to a study of European girls conducted by Mircrosoft. But in Russia, that number is way lower. The article goes on to point out that the former Soviet state encouraged math and science and that psyche remains in Russia today, and they also point out that girls receive more familial encouragement to pursue science careers there. So, next time you encounter a little lady talking about her love of science or math, just give her encouragement. She could grow up to be the CIO of the next big technological revolution in finance.
Irina Khoroshko, from Zelenograd near Moscow, had learned her times tables by the age of five.
Her precocious talent, encouraged by a maths-mad family and a favourite female teacher who transformed every lesson into one giant problem-solving game, led to a degree in mathematical economics at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics.
“My lecturer instilled in me the power of numbers and calculation, how it gives you the ability to predict things; in that sense the subject always felt magical,” she says.
Now Irina, 26, is a data scientist at Russian online lender, ID Finance, enjoying a lucrative career devising analytical models to determine loan eligibility.
And this isn’t an unusual story in Russia. But it is in many other countries around the world.
Several studies confirm that all too often girls’ early interest in Stem subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – fizzles out and never recovers.
So relatively few women go on to choose engineering or technology as a career. Why?
A new study from Microsoft sheds some light.
Based on interviews with 11,500 girls and young women across Europe, it finds their interest in these subjects drops dramatically at 15, with gender stereotypes, few female role models, peer pressure and a lack of encouragement from parents and teachers largely to blame.
Not so in Russia…”